Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne drove the No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS to victory lane on Sunday in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, holding off challenges from runner-up Kyle Busch and third-place finisher Brad Keselowski late in the race. Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer completed the top five.
Kahne has rebounded from finishes of 36th and 19th in the season’s first two races to finish second and first in the past two, moving from 34th in points after Daytona to seventh in points now. It was his win in the Cup Series at Bristol.
“Feels really good to win at this place,” said Kahne post-race. “Such a tough track over the years. My first time here in 2002 was just something I couldn't believe the way that you drove, as hard as you drove here, the way things happen so quickly. To win a Sprint Cup race here feels really good. We had an awesome Great Clips Chevy SS throughout the race. The pit calls were perfect. The pit crew did a really good job with pit stops. Was able to race hard the whole race. It worked out for us.”
Busch, who won Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Bristol, had to battle back from a pit road speeding penalty during a caution early in the race. After leading the first 55 laps, the penalty set him back in 32nd-place on the restart; by Lap 155, Busch was back up to second.
“It was a good run for us battling back from our pit road penalty which we need to stop,” admitted Busch. “If we didn't have so many of those, we'd be a lot better off. Being able to work on our car further up front, there's a difference when you run back in traffic. All in all we battled back. Crew chief made some good calls. Pit crew did a good job on pit road. You got to hustle it and drive hard out on the racetrack, especially after restarts, get what you can get…I wish I could have kept up with the 5, but he took off, left us all.”
Keselowski takes over the points lead from Jimmie Johnson, who slipped to third after a 22nd-place finish. Dale Earnhardt Jr. moved up to second; Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle round out the top five in points. The biggest mover of the week was Kurt Busch, who moved up 13 place to 16th.
Quotes in this piece provided by NASCAR Media.
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